Wellington Zoo has been recognised for promoting positive animal welfare as we have once again achieved Accreditation through the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA).

Female Chimp Jessie looking over their new habitat

Female Chimpanzee, Jessie looking over their new habitat

ZAA’s Accreditation includes application of the Five Domains Model for assessing animal welfare to confirm Positive Welfare is occurring within the organisation. ZAA members are assessed for ZAA accreditation every three years, a process that incorporates the latest in animal welfare science. The Zoo was assessed on criteria listed under the four physical domains of nutrition, environment, health and behaviour to demonstrate positive experiences are occurring in the fifth (mental) domain.

You'll be proud to know that the Zoo scored highly across all areas.

As a progressive zoo, animal welfare underpins everything that we do. We apply the Five Domains Model to ensure our animals are happy and healthy. This model assesses not only the physical well-being of our animals, but also their emotional and mental state, and takes into consideration the animal’s behavioural and physiological needs.

The Zoo was commended on its staff awareness of the Five Domains Model and the report highlighted the Zoo as having a comprehensive understanding of positive welfare.

The Zoo and Aquarium Association has a progressive, science-based approach to animal welfare through application of the Five Domains Model, and ZAA grants accreditation to zoos and aquariums that have clearly demonstrated their commitment to positive welfare.

Our Accreditation Support Officer, Judith Gillespie from Zoo and Aquarium Association said that, "Wellington Zoo is achieving highly across all areas of animal welfare including animal care routines, behavioural enrichment and expert veterinary care. Wellington Zoo demonstrated dedication towards supporting a good life for their animals and recognise the importance of positive animal welfare."

Wellington Zoo has a large team of skilled staff who are all involved in ensuring the welfare needs of its animals are met. The Zoo has an Animal Science Team, which includes a Nutrition Team Leader and Nutrition Assistant, and an Animal Welfare Committee, which supports and guides the Animal Care team who provide daily care for every animal at the Zoo.

The Animal Welfare Committee was founded in May 2014 and includes external representatives from Massey University, Wellington City Council, as well as Zoo staff. The Animal Welfare Committee ensures that the animals at Wellington Zoo are benefitting from the latest animal welfare science and that the Zoo is positioned as a leader, advocate and authority on animal welfare best practice.

ZAA Accreditation is vital so the wider community know that any accredited zoo, aquarium or wildlife park they are visiting has a high standard of animal welfare for all animals in their care and that the organisation is involved in conservation, education and research.

Being a progressive zoo is about first-class animal care, helping to save wild animals and wild places through conservation efforts, learning programmes, message driven visitor experience, sustainability and research.

You can be proud knowing that by visiting Wellington Zoo, you are contributing towards this work and that we are dedicated to ensuring all the animals at the Zoo live happy and healthy lives.


To learn more about the Five Domains of Animal Welfare, we created a video explaining what it means to have happy and healthy animals.


About the Zoo and Aquarium Association

The Zoo and Aquarium Association represents the collective voice of zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries and wildlife parks across Australasia and promotes positive welfare, as well as conservation and community education for its members.

To find an accredited zoo or aquarium near you, visit the ZAA Website.